GENEVA - Iran executed some 670 people last year, most of them for drug crimes that do not merit capital punishment under international law and more than 20 for offenses against Islam, a United Nations investigator said on Monday.
The investigator, former Maldives foreign minister Ahmed Shaheed, also reported what he said were a wide range of violations by Iran of U.N. human rights accords, from abuse of minorities to persecution of homosexuals and labor unions.
Shaheed was delivering his first report to the UN's 47-nation Human Rights Council on the rights situation in the country since being appointed last year. It was dismissed by Iran as a "compilation of baseless allegations".
"It is with great concern that I report the significant increase in the rate of executions in Iran from 200 in mid-September 2011 to over 600 executions by the end of the year," Shaheed told the council.